Taking time to smell the peonies
Journalist, playwright, author, songwriter, MuchMusic VJ. Erica Ehm has worn many hats in her life, but none more challenging than Mom. As a new mother, Erica realized that a lot of media geared toward her demographic tended to ignore the well-being of the mother and focus on that of the child. Deciding to fill this gap, Ehm created Yummy Mummy Club, now Canada’s largest independently owned online magazine. The magazine covers topics as diverse as pop culture, nutrition, book reviews, parenting advice, and of course, wellness.
What wellness concerns do Canadian mothers have that you address in the magazine?
We just did a whole survey on stress and sleep. Canadian moms are stressed out and sleep-deprived, so a lot of the wellness comes from that basis. So we talk about how to find time in the day for yourself, why you need find time in the day for yourself. The idea of guilt-free self care is essential because if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be there for your family.
As a busy working mother, how do you deal with your own wellness challenges?
I bought classes at a place called Ferris360. They have really smart Tabata classes [high-intensity interval training] and I schedule them into my Gmail calendar so that I make it a priority to go on Tuesdays and Saturdays. And I’m also conscious of keeping up with my health. So yesterday I had my mammogram and I had a bone density test and I got my blood tested. I’m trying to make time to make sure that I stay healthy. Being a martyr is not a good thing. I believe that there is a whole way of thinking [like a] Mummy Martyr where you put yourself last all the time and it’s going to catch up to – well it caught up to me – and then you burn out. It’s essential that we carve out time for ourselves.
What about beauty concerns?
I really deeply believe that beauty comes from within. I have so many friends who don’t wear a stitch of makeup and they just shine because they’re healthy, they’re passionate, they’re inspired. They really embody to me what beauty is. I also do believe though that you do need to take care of yourself. I use Dermalogica skincare products; I’ve been using them for years and years. I invest in my skin because if you screw up your skin, you’re in trouble. Having said that, I would never spend money on Botox or any other age-defying [treatment]. I believe in embracing your beauty and aging gracefully.
Have you ever been able to sneak off to the spa?
Yes of course, I absolutely have and do. When I was really stressed out in January and February, my mom sent me to the [Miraj Hammam Spa at Toronto’s Shangri-la Hotel] with my sister and we had a really nice massage and then we sat in their little post treatment room and drank fancy teas and had little snacks and giggled and just chilled out. It was like medicine to me.